News

Shoulder/Bridge Project Underway on Highway 69

June 5, 2012 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - FASTER Funding Improvements near Westcliffe.

SH 69 Antelope Creek BridgeCUSTER COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is beginning work to replace an aging bridge and add shoulders along State Highway (SH) 69 through the Wet Mountain Valley.

Beginning on Monday, June 11, and continuing for the duration of the project, drivers should expect traffic stops up to 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.  The speed limit will be reduced to 40 mph and vehicles wider than 12 feet will not be allowed to travel through the work zone until the new bridge is opened to traffic.

Initial work involves building a one-lane paved detour parallel to the Antelope Creek Bridge (picture below), about nine miles south of Westcliffe.  It is scheduled to open in late June, with a signal alternating northbound and southbound traffic through the work zone every two minutes – 24 hours a day/seven days a week.

Shoulder widening begins in July.  CDOT is adding seven-foot shoulders along a four-mile segment of SH 69, beginning just south of Westcliffe.  Currently, shoulders are non-existent through this area.

Other aspects of the project include new drainage structures, earthwork, erosion control, new signs and striping.

“This is first and foremost a safety project,” said CDOT Project Engineer Randy Johnson.  “Widening the shoulders along a considerable stretch of the highway will provide a sufficient area for vehicles to pull-off the road, as well as enhance safety for bicyclists and other slow-moving vehicles.”

“Replacing the bridge at Antelope Creek, which was built in 1948, is a priority as well,” added Johnson.  “It’s rated in poor condition and is functionally obsolete for today’s highway standards.  The new bridge is designed to provide a good 75 years of service.”

The $3.5 million project, contracted to Tezak Heavy Equipment Co. Inc., of Caňon City, Colo., is scheduled for completion in October 2012.

Specific day-to-day information about the project is available by calling the hotline at 719-431-9595

FASTER – Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery – is funding $2 million of this project.  Financed by vehicle registration fees, FASTER safety funds are used for construction, reconstruction, or maintenance projects the Colorado Transportation Commission, a county or municipality determine are needed to enhance the safety of a state highway, county road, or city street.

Traffic information about this or other CDOT projects is on the cotrip.org website, by calling 511 or via subscription e-mail.  To subscribe, please visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner.  The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including Southwest Colorado (Everything West of I-25 and South of I-70).

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